Violence, Governance, and Uncertainty [chapter]

Rebecca Tapscott
2021 Arbitrary States  
The majority of today's authoritarian regimes are characterized by a paradox in which democratic institutions exist alongside the ruler's exercise of arbitrary power. The continued existence of civic spaces and democratic institutions can create opportunities for citizens to organize and make claims on the regime. How do rulers maintain control under such circumstances? To contribute to this ongoing debate, this book identifies 'institutionalized arbitrariness' as a new form of
more » ... Regimes characterized by institutionalized arbitrariness do not try to eliminate civic organization or democratic space, but instead use unpredictable and violent intervention to make those spaces fragile. They are more concerned with weakening competition than with maximizing control. To elaborate these dynamics, this chapter links everyday experiences of local insecurity in Uganda to contemporary debates about authoritarian rule. After positioning Uganda under President Museveni as a key case of modern authoritarianism, the chapter outlines the study and previews the book's main findings.
doi:10.1093/oso/9780198856474.003.0001 fatcat:jtbtvwxmajhlvpw2cuik4lazqe